Faced with widespread criticism in recent weeks, the Bush administration and some of its supporters have promoted numerous false and misleading claims intended to downplay the approval of a deal that would turn over control of terminal operations at six U.S. ports to Dubai Ports World (DPW) -- a company owned by the government of Dubai, a member state of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) -- and cast critics of the transaction as racist, politically opportunistic, or both. The media, in turn, have often repeated these claims without challenge or correction.
Most major print and broadcast media outlets offered no coverage of House Homeland Security Committee chairman Peter King's March 1 claim that there was "no investigation into terrorism whatsoever" during the Bush administration's initial review of the proposed deal that would allow Dubai Ports World (DPW) to assume control of terminal operations at six major U.S. ports.
An Associated Press article on the request by Dubai Ports World (DPW) that the U.S. government fully review the national security implications of the company's takeover of six U.S. ports did not note that DPW is owned by the government of Dubai. The article also omitted the fact that the Committee on Foreign Investments in the United States (CFIUS), in its original review of the DPW deal, declined to conduct the additional 45-day investigation that DPW is now offering to undergo and that critics of the deal say the law required originally.
Vice President Dick Cheney's recent hunting accident offered yet another example of an unmistakable pattern with the Bush administration, which few in the media have noted. When faced with potential political damage stemming from its actions or decisions, the Bush White House attacks those fomenting the criticism; Cheney or President Bush then take to the airwaves and appear to temper the debate -- while benefiting from whatever discrediting their surrogates' smears brought on their targets.
Despite multiple reports on the subject, The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and the Associated Press have ignored several important issues concerning a proposal by Sen. Mike DeWine (R-OH) to resolve any potential legal problems involving the Bush administration's warrantless domestic surveillance program by crafting legislation that would exempt the program from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
Associated Press staff writer Katherine Shrader again used the White House's preferred terminology -- "terrorist surveillance program" -- to describe President Bush's warrantless domestic surveillance program.
Using an unfair and misleading comparison, the Associated Press accused the New York State Democratic Committee of editing AP articles the committee reprinted on its website.
Reporting on Vice President Dick Cheney's admission that he had consumed "a beer at lunch" prior to accidentally shooting a hunting companion, numerous media outlets failed to report that Cheney's admission contradicted earlier statements by Katharine and Anne Armstrong, co-owners of the ranch where the accident occurred, who had said that Dr. Pepper was served with lunch and "heavily implied," according to The New York Times, that "no alcohol was served at all."
Advancing a line put forth by the administration, several conservative media figures have argued that the revelation of President Bush's warrantless domestic surveillance program has effectively rendered it worthless because its existence and practices have been disclosed to terrorist groups. However, Media Matters for America has previously noted the absurdity of this claim.
An Associated Press article failed to inform readers that White House press secretary Scott McClellan, during his noon press briefing on February 14, withheld from reporters the fact that the man Vice President Dick Cheney accidentally shot had suffered a heart attack earlier that morning. Moreover, the AP article left the false impression that McClellan had indeed informed reporters of this development.
CNN became at least the fourth news outlet to adopt the administration's preferred term "terrorist surveillance program" to describe President Bush's warrantless domestic surveillance program.
Two days after an Associated Press report ignored crucial details that undermine a link between Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) and disgraced Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff, a follow-up AP article misrepresented new evidence, which the AP suggested provides further confirmation of such a link but, in fact, casts additional doubt on whether such a link exists.
Reporting on President Bush's February 9 account of how the government successfully thwarted a 2002 Al Qaeda plot to crash a hijacked airplane into a Los Angeles skyscraper, numerous media outlets -- including The New York Times, Associated Press, and USA Today -- ignored doubts among counterterrorism officials that the proposed attack ever advanced beyond the initial planning stages and ever posed a serious threat.
A February 9 Associated Press story left out important details of two incidents that purportedly link Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) to disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff.